Photo Credit: Kristin Kirk Photography
I was recently called a unicorn. And no, it’s not because I’m a mythical creature associated with rainbows and glitter -- though apparently in today’s culture I might as well be.
I’m 22 and a virgin...by choice.
While many people have often assumed that I’d never find a guy who could possibly live with or respect my choice to reserve sex for marriage, I’m actually engaged to a fellow virgin -- a super attractive (and normal) 24-year-old guy. Our decision to wait is partly because we believe God designed sex for marriage and also because we don’t want the drama that’s associated with causual sex. My fiance Addison and I wanted something real, so we decided to put sex on the backburner. It’s nearly four years later and we aren’t bored yet.
With the unicorn stigma already attached, it doesn’t really help convey virgins as normal, relationship-functional people when shows like TLC’s The Virgin Diaries go viral illustrating virgins’ lack of knowing how to do something as simple as kiss (watch below). Yes, I’ve kissed Addison before, if you were curious. If you want a real “Virgin Diary” -- here’s my account of everything I’ve learned by holding onto the v-card until I say “I do.”
We enjoy being a couple around people
Because we’re constantly tempted by each other’s amazing hotness, my fiancé and I spend a lot of time with other people. I call it virgin insurance. Not all our dates are with others, but we do spend a good portion going on double dates, hosting parties and just being around other people. It’s a great socializing skill and has taught us how to be a couple around other people -- something necessary if you plan to share your life together. I’ve known too many married couples (both young and old) who just don’t know how to go out together and have a good time with other people. They were so focused on the sex and alone time in the early stages of their relationship that when the novelty wore off, they were lost. They’d either go out separately or stay home together. However, if you’re stuck at home all the time and don’t have the continued libido of a teenage stallion, you may end up in different rooms on different computers watching different TV shows. To me, there’s nothing sexy about that.
We talk about sex, we just don’t have it
It’s a misconception that all virgins are scared of sex and avoid talking about it. Sure, my fiance and I find ourselves blushing every now and then when friends talk about their own sexcapades, but we actually talk about sex a lot. We talk about expectations, fantasies, insecurities, safety -- all of it. Our premarital classes actually encourage it. I find that many of my sexually active friends don’t discuss sex with their partners, they just -- as far as I can tell -- have a lot of it. However, that fails to teach couples how to healthily communicate about sex, something that will change over the course of their relationship no matter how good their sex life is initially. Many sex-experienced couples expect their partners to just “know how” to have sex. So when things change in some way, it may be harder to verbalize what they need sexually from their partner. I know that Addison and I will feel comfortable talking about whatever, ahem, comes up.
We support each other’s decisions
You’ve probably heard the cliche, “it takes two to tango.” Well it also takes two to not to tango. And by that I mean, I probably wouldn’t be able to wait until marriage if it wasn’t for the fact that Addison is also waiting for marriage. Another misconception is virgins don’t want to have sex. We do want to have sex. Badly. But we usually find reasons for waiting. If one of us is tempted, the other is there for support and to remind why we’re doing what we’re doing. If one of us wasn’t committed to this decision, it would be harder for the other to stay focused. But together, we’re strong. It’s a great exercise in united will power, which I’m sure will come in handy during budgeting crises, joint diets and figuring out which in-law we’ll be visiting for Christmas.
We are masters at the art of foreplay
I was told I’d have the worst sex life post-marriage if I didn’t get my practice in -- I mean, who drives the car off the lot without test driving, right? I bet Addison and I have way more foreplay than sexually active couples, and it’s more passionate. An article in Women’s Day quoted Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex and relationship expert and the author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, saying that 10-20 minutes of foreplay can make a difference in whether or not a relationship is fulfilling. By not having sex, Addison and I have learned to be intimate in other ways (something our friends coined as “heart sex”). I heard marriage counselors encourage couples stuck in ruts to learn to “make-out like teenagers” again. Because of our lack of sex, we’re pros at tension building activities like that. We also give killer massages with mint-scented oil. (Yes, I’m serious!) Maybe that sounds lame -- I guess it could be to some. But at least I’m still enjoying tonsil hockey and the best cuddle sessions in the world while some are figuring out how to rekindle their forgotten pre-sex chemistry, before they’re even engaged.
He loves me for me
I once had a friend ask me how she could know a guy loved her for more than just the sex. I told her the only way to find out would be to just not have sex with him and see where it went. She thought I was crazy. But the truth is, I go to sleep at night knowing my fiance loves me for things other than sex. Sure, we’ll probably have to work at sex together before we get it right once we’re married, but in the end, sex isn’t love. It’s just an accessory to it. If you can learn to get past a fight, to kiss the way he likes,or even to compromise on big life decisions, then why wouldn’t you be able to learn to have sex together? Besides, if you think the sex you’re having now is the sex you’ll be having 15 years from now, think again. The fact that we’ve been able to enjoy our relationship for four years without sex gives me hope that when Addison and I are old and gray, and we finally run out of Viagra, we’ll still have a great relationship sitting in our rocking chairs sipping lemonade... while talking dirty to each other.